Donald Trump and FIFA chief

President Donald Trump (right) joked to FIFA president Gianni Infantino about extending his term to 2026, the year the FIFA World Cup will take place in North America. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

President Donald Trump on Monday once again joked about extending his presidency beyond the constitutional confines of eight years, trying out a favorite bit on a new audience: FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The two were fielding questions from reporters outside of the White House after meeting in part about gender equity in soccer — or how to make women’s soccer “even better and more equitable, etcetera, etcetera,” as Trump put it — when the president jested about extending his term to 2026, the year the FIFA World Cup will take place in North America.

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“Gianni, we’re going to have to extend my second term because 2026 — I’m going to have to extend it for a couple of years,” he said.

“I don’t think any of you would have a problem with that,” he continued, apparently addressing the press corps assembled outside of the White House.

The prospect of Trump extending his presidency beyond two terms is a frequent refrain among the president and his boosters.

In May, Trump retweeted Jerry Falwell Jr. when the Evangelical conservative political figure said that the president should have his term extended because of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference — a “corrupt failed coup,” to use Falwell’s language.

A month earlier, at an event sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project, Trump joked about remaining in office for even longer than that.

“This will find a permanent place, at least for six years, in the Oval Office,” he said about a trophy he received from the charity. “I was going to joke … and say at least for 10 or 14 years, but we would cause bedlam if I said that, so we’ll say six.”

And in 2018, he expressed admiration for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s limitless term.

“I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday,” he said.

Trump’s reference Monday was clearly facetious, even eliciting a laugh from Infantino. Still, it’s noteworthy given that some Democrats — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi among them — have expressed doubts about whether he’d respect the results of an election that ousted him from the White House.

“I hope you’re going to remember me in 2026,” Trump told Infantino.

“Oh, for sure,” he replied.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Xi Jinping’s name.



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